Our Lady Peace at The Vic

I've seen Our Lady Peace live 3 times to date (98, 03, and now 09). Each time was a different moment in their career and a different time in my life. The first time was just as I was coming of age to go to concerts with just my friends and no parents. Their '98 show, where the opened for Creed, is one of the most memorable moments during a live show I've ever had and I think of it just almost every time I think of bands playing live. The show in '03 is also a fond memory because of the company I saw the concert with. Come to think of it, the shows in '98 and '03 I attended with basically the same friends. It's a testament that we're still all friends to this date, and I know that has a lot to do with music.

The show last night was at The Vic theater in Chicago. (Yes, that's the official name of the place, so the "The" is capitalized and there is no "theater" in its name so that word is not.) The show simply proved that OLP puts on one of the best live shows around. Now, I'm not talking an art-rock lights and video live show here, Tool still holds the crown for that. What I'm talking about is pure rock and fucking roll. It's unadulterated, unpretentious and generally awesome in just the way the band plays together. The vocals were powerful, the guitar sounded as amazing as only a live electric guitar can and the drums and bass pumped out bass that shook the room. Their vocalist, Raine Maida, seemed a bit under the weather, but did that stop him from running into the crowd and climbing up into the balcony during "All You Did Was Save My Life?" No.

The set list was a wide sweep of OLP's career. There were songs off the new album, Burn Burn, to be sure, but there were also plenty of crowd favorites like Is Anybody Home and One Man Army. They played their radio hit singles, "Superman's Dead," "Clumsy" and "Somewhere Out There" and all sounded better than I've heard at any OLP show I've seen. Raine has taken to playing guitar on Somewhere Out There so that song now sounds much better live than it did when I saw them in '03 when he did not. My only complaint of the night was that the only song they played from their Spiritual Machines album was "In Repair," which sounds 100% better live than on the album. In addition to "In Repair," their encore included a crowd sing-along to "4am" (which gave me goosebumps) and they closed the show out as usual with "Starseed."

The bottom line: Our Lady Peace has reaffirmed their place as one of my favorite bands of all time.

1. Monkey Brains
2. Superman's Dead
3. Angels/Losing/Sleep
4. Innocent
5. Clumsy
6. Paper Moon
7. Escape Artist
8. Is Anybody Home?
9. Somewhere Out There
10. Bring Back The Sun
11. One Man Army
12. Denied
13. All You Did Was Save My Life
14. 4 A.M.
15. In Repair --> Thief --> In Repair
16. Starseed